Monday, February 14, 2011

Platitudinal Wisdom

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a platitudinal-slapdown?  I have.

Worse, are you guilty of bequeathing them to another?  I am.

As I was reading along in the Book of Job, I ran across one of his many heartfelt expressions of disbelief towards his helpful advisers:

Your platitudes
(or maxims/memorable sayings) 
are proverbs of ashes. 
Job 13:12

Ouch!  Doesn't that speak volumes? 

Merriam defines a platitude as: 
1: the quality or state of being dull or insipid
2: a banal, trite, or stale remark

Anything with "insipid", or "banal" at it's core gives me hives. 

Well, we eventually read about how off-the-mark were Job's buddies, even though what they had to say was often true ... even scriptural.  Platitudes just don't have lift.  Then again, they're not intended to be so noble.  They rarely do more than allow the platitudinist to have the floor and to sound quite wise, even high-and-mighty. 

I suppose the truth of the matter lies in motive, but even then a platitude can come off quite badly.  Job's BFFs learned that the hard way. 

Come to think of it, so have I.


8 comments:

Rebecca said...

Guilty as charged... The older I get, the more I hate platitudes. You'd think I'd mellow and be more tolerant. But I abhor them in myself and wince when I hear them from the lips of others.

Sigh. I'd rather say nothing than something insincere, insipid, self-righteous or insensitive.

Nevertheless, I'm sure I do. Oh to hear myself as others HEAR me!

Denise said...

Amen, we all need to just keep our mouths closed sometimes.

Sonja said...

Ouch!! I really can't stand platitudes but I have sure said more than a few!! An excellent reminder of what NOT to say!

Patrina's Pencil said...

Sorry to say, I too miss the mark more times than I care to remember. We are called out of darkness - into His glorious LIGHT for a purpose. When we lose our flavor - we become useless. SALT and LIGHT go together.

I find that when I am steadfast in my time before the LORD - each new day - He actually gives me words to say to the people He puts me in front of - words that I wouldn't have said - just that way - without spending time with Him. It puts Him at the forefront of my words - and that is what keeps me SALTY.

I hope I haven't taken the platform here or sounded 'high and mighty'... :)

I am simply speaking a TRUTH for my life that God is bringing HOME to me. I'm working at making my words count for His Glory and not mine.

Pride is a subtle thing. Most of us are deceived by it...and when we are deceived - we have no idea that we are deceived.

Seriously though, when I look deep enough - I see areas that I can go to the Lord in prayer and intercession for those that speak in such an offensive way. I don't have to know them or their lives to pray for the LIGHT of JESUS to shine on them. And when I am in this mode - I can more easily see them as God sees them - rather than see them as connected to the way I felt when they spoke their tasteless words.

I'm just saying.....

I hope I made sense here :)and I pray I was not offensive with my many words.

Hugs, Kathleen
and happy valentines Day
Patrina<")>><

pam said...

I try and be honest...."wow, that really sucks, but I'll be praying". Sometimes my mouth gets ahead of my brain but I'm working on it....cause most of the time I know I don't have a clue why God is allowing the mess a friend is going through...but He sure does so I shall pray as He leads.

Terri Tiffany said...

I know I am more careful now than I ever was before after going through some stuff and realizing when others have before me, I said words that really meant nothing to them. We try to help and can't always say the right thing but I know our hearts meant well.

Saleslady371 said...

You struck a sensitive cord. I was reading in the Proverbs yesterday about how wise we look when we keep our mouths shut. That was for me.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I didn't know my "quipping" had such a label...

No speaking words without "lift" today.

peace~elaine